So, you want to start working at home, eh? Well, it’s not all sunshine and roses! There can be considerable disadvantages to being your own boss. You’ll have to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons so you can begin working from home with realistic goals in mind.
Related Post: 11 Home Business Ideas for Moms
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Here are some Disadvantages to working from home
Work and Home Life Inevitably Collide
If you don’t have a planned daily schedule that you actually stick to, you’ll find yourself working crazy hours to accommodate your family, and you’ll soon start to feel as if you never have a day off. Phew!
You’ll Do a Ton of Work (for free)
Realistically speaking, the majority of the work you do won’t be billable, so you’ll feel like you’re working for free until you start making some real money. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to make yourself do things that bring in no income right away, but these are the stepping stones to building a solid, successful business. You’ll have to get past this obstacle to have a phenomenal career.
Your Family Will Ask You to Do Stuff (since, you know, you’re not doing anything)
This applies to friends too, real or fair-weather. They’ll start to depend on you being there for them for everything.
Got a sick child? Just ask (insert name here)
Your spouse and children will also stop helping out around the house as much since you’re there anyway
It’s a never-ending story unless you can find a way to put a stop to it.
You May Experience Claustrophobia
You’re home because you chose to be so you’ll happily spend the majority of your time there.
But sometimes, when you’re on your way home from a rare outing, you’ll get the distinct feeling that you’re headed to lockup. You’ll want to do anything but go back, but thankfully, this is usually a temporary feeling.
You WILL get Distracted
There’s a reason we now have the term “social media detox.” Unless you take deliberate steps, even the most attentive and organized person can get off track due to Facebook or Instagram notifications, the TV, and other distractions around the home. There are many, many ways to get off track even from just sitting at your computer, like checking out cute animals through your window:
Now, Here’s What’s Cool About Working from Home
No More Filling Out Time Cards
One of the best things about working from home is the freedom it gives you.
You can wake up naturally without an alarm forcing you to get up when your body isn’t ready. You can also go to bed when you want to as well. It’s absolute freedom not to always live by the clock.
No More Sitting in Traffic
One of the best perks is not having to be caught in a traffic jam during rush hour when you need to pee. You won’t have to do that anymore when you work from home.
It’ll be a relief to be comfortable at home, especially when everyone else has to trudge through the snow or heat wave.
Co-worker chatter can get overwhelming at times, and it can be a challenge to get work done when you’re constantly being interrupted by one thing or another. And forget about attending meetings! Let’s be honest, are you ever really productive while in a meeting? You’re probably thinking about how you could be getting work done right now instead of talking about it!
Casual Friday is Casual EVERY DAY
Yep, that’s right, no more suits or sensible skirts and shoes. You can wear PJs, yoga pants, or a muumuu; no one cares! You can even get inspired right out of the shower and work naked if you want to (not recommended).
But the idea is: it’s your business and your house so do what you want.
A Flexible Schedule
Your schedule is your own.
If you have a parent-teacher meeting, you don’t have to ask permission to go. If you want to get your hair done, go for it. Whatever you want to do during the day is up to you as long as you find time also to get your work done so you can get paid.
You Can Eat Healthier
Working outside of the home often causes you to eat out for lunch five days a week. That can not only be super expensive, but unhealthy to do long term.
Now you can prepare healthy lunches for yourself or eat leftovers from dinner the night before. Save money and save your life.
Here’s how to overcome some of the work from home challenges:
- Schedule your day in advance – use a planner or calendar to organize your day – stick to your schedule as best as you can
- Create a space for yourself to work in – Even if you don’t have an office at home or much room, you can simply partition off an area in your home using a screen or even a cardboard box. Do your work in this area every day – it will soon become known to everyone as “Mom (or Dad’s) office”.
- Fit in time for going out into your schedule – even if the outing is just to the Farmer’s Market or library. That way you avoid making your home your jailhouse (and you get some essential Vitamin D!)
- Turn off notifications – Ok, I’ll just say it: A message sent to you on social media is not an emergency. Nor do you have to respond to the person that tagged you on Facebook right away. Add social media time to your daily calendar so you stay connected without allowing social media to rule your day. You can keep the TV on mute if you need some “action” around you or turn on your music playlist.
- Use checklists and templates to streamline your processes. This will help you save a ton of time since you won’t have to keep going back to fix or add things if you forget.
Working from home offers many benefits and a few drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine if you have the personality for it. You’ll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business.